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Google faces Texas AG settles suit investigation privacy

Google BuzzGoogle Inc. announced Friday that he was the target of an investigation by the Attorney General in the impartiality of their search engines.

The world No. 1 search engine company said the investigation is the first of a legal power of the United States about the fairness of grading, you can define commercial websites.

Google faces a similar investigation by the European Commission, prompted by complaints from some small websites who have felt unfairly disadvantaged by the low ranking on Google.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has requested information on complaints from a number of companies, Google has announced on its website.

Google specifically mentions websites operated by Foundem, TradeComet myTriggers as a challenge and its results, saying they were in competition with the search giant.

A spokesman for the Texas Attorney General has confirmed that the probe, but gave no further details. Google said it is willing to answer questions from the Attorney General of Texas.


Separately, Google has settled a federal lawsuit accusing it of privacy violations in connection with its Buzz social networking service, according to a court document filed on Friday.

To settle the lawsuit brought by a Gmail user, Google will set aside $8.5 million for attorneys fees and donations to organizations focused on Internet privacy, according to the court filing.

In addition, “the settlement requires that Google undertake wider public education about the privacy aspects of Buzz,” the filing said.

Launched in February, Buzz initially used an individual’s email contacts from Google Gmail to build a social network of contacts that the rest of the world could see, which led to privacy concerns. Google then changed the settings so that contacts were kept private by default.

The settlement filing comes as Google also said it would simplify and update its privacy policies, according to Associate General Counsel Mike Yang on the company’s website (here).

The case is: In Re Google Buzz User Privacy Litigation, 10-cv-00672, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco. – Reuters

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